“Withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria is a grave strategic mistake. It will leave the American people and homeland less safe, embolden our enemies, and weaken important alliances. Sadly, the recently announced pullout risks repeating the Obama administration’s reckless withdrawal from Iraq,” McConnell wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
McConnell added that the combination of the U.S. drawback and the fighting between Turkey, which invaded part of northern Syria, and the Kurds was creating a “strategic nightmare” for the United States.
McConnell’s op-ed comes after Vice President Pence announced Thursday that the United States and Turkey had agreed to a five-day cease-fire, during which the United States won’t apply additional sanctions on Turkish officials.
If that holds, the cease-fire would then become permanent and the Trump administration would agree to lift sanctions that they introduced earlier this week.
But McConnell, in the Post op-ed, argued that even if the cease-fire sticks, the pull back of U.S. troops and Turkey’s invasion had “set back the United States’ campaign against the Islamic State and other terrorists.”